|Coming last has never been a sign of greater ability|
A VERY YOUNG BOY WROTE THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE, BASED ON AN URDU VIDEO OF MUBASHAR AHMAD KHALON SAHIB. WE ARE DELIGHTED WITH THE QUALITY OF THE ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ONE SO YOUNG BY THE GRACE OF ALLAH.
Ahmadi’s believe Muhammad (saw) is the Khatamun Nabiyeen.We also believe that Muhammad (saw) gave us news of the coming of a Messiah in his ummah just as other Muslims believe the same thing. The only difference is that apart from us, Muslims for the service of Islam, Hazrat Jesus who is “alive in heaven” will come for the reformation of the Muslim Ummah. He will come and will give the victory of Islam to the believers. As Ahmadi’s we disagree with this Allah gave knowledge to the Promised Messiah that Jesus (as) is not alive in the heavens, but rather a person will be raised from the Muslim Ummah who through complete dedication to the Quran and the Holy Prophet will be the Messiah and Mahdi. The promised Messiah said that this person who was prophesised by Hazrat Muhammad has come in his person as he has been told by Allah.
Other sects say that as an old prophet will come, who was on this earth before the making of Khatamun Nabiyyeen, the concept of the Finality of Prophethood is not broken. This is because a new prophet cannot come whereas an old one is able to. But if we follow this belief of finality of Prophethood, then according to this, no Prophet can come, new or old. When Allah forbade alcohol in the Quran, did it mean that 'old' alcohol or alchohol prepared before the commandment was still permissable? Of course not. So if prophethood has been forbidden, then we should accept that both old and new prophets have been forbidden. Yet, all Muslims are expecting the coming of Messiah who will be a prophet.
Therefore the reality is that all Muslim sects believe prophets can come and this is the near-unanimous interpretation of this issue. The only question that remains is will the expected messiah be the Israeli Jesus of the Bible? Ahmadis contend that the Quran and ahadith say he has passed away. That is the underlying issue between Ahmadiyyat and other Muslims: the death of Jesus (as).
What element of prophethood is Muhammad (saw) supposed to have finished?
If other people take the meaning of Khatamun Nabiyyeen to be the one who finishes all other prophets, the question arises what is the meaning of “ending of all prophets”. Each prophet has two statuses, one is physical and the other is spiritual. If we look at the physical status, then the time Hazrat Muhammad (saw) entered this world, according to the opponents of our Jamaat, all other Prophets had died. Only one person, Hazrat Isa, was left physically alive. If we take this interpretation then any Non-Muslim can say that you claim that Muhammad (saw) came to end all other Prophets, but the one prophet who was still alive, even he was not able to be finished by Muhammad (saw). This is a most insulting and shameful interpretation that the 'end of the prophets' was not able to end even the only other prophet alive.
Then if we turn to spiritual status, we find this explanation most insulting too. For we have to admit that according to the non-Ahmadis interpretation, not a single Muslim or follower of Muhammad (saw) was able to save our religion. Instead a prophet of the Jewish or Christian dispensation will have to come and solve our problem. Who then has the spiritual victory or grandeur? Muhammad (saw) whose followers were utter failures or his predecessor Jesus who will be sent back to clean up the Muslims mess? What an appalling interpretation.
What is the reason and need for a Prophet in the world?
It cannot happen that Allah will stop the coming of a prophet, but will not stop the reasons and causes for the advent of a prophet. This would mean that the door of fitna (problems) still remains open, yet the cure (prophets) will not come. The holy Quran has given light to this. At the start of every Surah "bismillah hirahman niraheem" is said. With the name of Allah who is the Rahman and Raheem. The meaning of Rahman and Raheem is slightly different, yet the foundation of these words in mercy. The Quran has given an excellent insight into the qualities of mercy of Allah. And furthermore in order to understand these attributes of mercy, the Holy Prophet has instructed that Muslims should say bismillah before any task. This is so every person will remember the qualities of mercy of Allah. If we say Allah has not closed the doors of fitna and problems, but has closed the doors of the advent of a prophet, then this is against the mercy of Allah.
Allah states in the Holy Quran “you are the best of people raised for the good of mankind” in 3:111, and how the Muslim ummah is the best of the people of the prophets of God. Now if this is the best ummah, then if God is denying his mercy onto this ummah, then how is it the best? There are two types of Prophet: one who bring a sharia, and after problems have arisen and the religion does not work for the age, then Allah sends a new prophet who brings a new sharia. This new religion eradicates the problems of previous religions and works for the time. Allah has stated that the Quran is the final and most perfect sharia, and that I will help it until the day of judgement. So these two things tell us that there is no need for a new sharia in the presence of Islam. The other type is one who doesn’t go against the previous shariat nor brings a new one. On the contrary, this prophet believes and practices this previous religion and spreads the message that this religion should be followed. For example Hazrat Ibrahim brought a new religion which discarded the use of the old religions. His sons Ismail and Isaac were both prophets, but followed the religion of their father and did not bring a new religion.
This shows that this type of Ummati Prophet can come, and that the need of this kind of prophet can arise. The Quran says in Surah al-Saffat that the people of previous religions and civilization have become corrupt, and so Allah sends a prophet. The verse shows that the practice of God when people become corrupted is to send a prophet. If our ummah is perfect and will not suffer from any problems or corruption, then this verse tells us that there will not be a need for the advent of a prophet. In another place God says that the children of Israel had in their presence of the Torah. But in spite of this teaching which contained the cure for the problems of the age, corruption and wrong interpretations of the teaching were present. To cure the people who he favoured at that time, Allah sent prophets to present the right meaning of the teachings of the Torah. In this way, if in the Muslim ummah no problems arise then there is no need for a prophet to reform Islam. But if there are problems, misinterpretations then the need for this kind of prophet is great. If Muhammad (saw) believed that he was the last of the prophet, then he would not have given news of a Messiah and Prophet for his Ummah in the latter days.
What is the grandeur of being the last in anything?
They say that being the last of the prophet’s means that you are higher and better than the previous prophets. But this belief is wrong. The chronological order of the prophets does not affect a prophet’s position among other prophets and does not show the majesty of Hazrat Muhammad (saw) intended by the actual meaning of this verse. The seniority and closeness to Allah of the prophets is not dependent on the Chronological order of the prophets, but rather on the spiritual qualities and excellences of a Prophet.
We say in Salat the durood sharif which is translated as "O Allah, let Your Peace come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have brought peace to Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious." This shows us that after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) the best and most highly regarded of the Prophets is Prophet Abraham. After Hazrat Abraham came Hazrat Zakaria, who according to the belief of some Muslims would be higher in spiritual quality and be regarded Hazrat Abraham’s senior. After Hazrat Yahya, Hazrat Yahya came, then in the same way he must be the senior of the Hazrat Abraham. Then if we take this meaning even further, then Hazrat Isa (as) who is believed to descend from the heavens, will be the last and therefore best and most senior of all the prophets. This would therefore mean, God forbid that Hazrat Muhammad (saw) is lower in spiritual status than Hazrat Isa (as) and this is against the glory which has been bestowed on him by Allah. We believe that the verse of Khatamun Nabiyyeen is not regarding chronological end of the prophets but rather the culmination of all the qualities of previous prophets in the person of Hazrat Muhammad (saw).
Our understanding of this verse has been backed up and explained by Hazrat Muhammad (saw) in a Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Hajj. The Holy Prophet has explained that “I am the last of the prophets, and my Mosque (Masjid al Nabawi) is the last of the mosques.” The hadith indicates that just as throughout the world, more and more mosques are being built, and will continue to be built, then in the same more prophets can come to the world.
The meaning that Muhammad (saw) is the Seal of the Prophets
As I have stated earlier, whatever translation of Khatamun Nabiyyeen that is presented, we will accept it if the explanation is in accordance with the Quran and Hadith. People say that the Holy Prophet is a seal on the prophets. Where they get this meaning of “on” from I do not know. In Arabic the word on is “ala”. In Surah Baqara, verse 8 it is stated that “Allah has put a seal on their hearts” and the world “ala” is used. Khatamun Nabbiyeen is however means Seal of the Prophets. Then further these people say that a seal is put on at the end of something, in this case the sending of prophets. This is untrue as a seal can be put on anything whether it is the beginning, middle or end. The true meaning of a seal is something which puts its imprint on other thing and this is what is special about a seal. So whenever the imprint of a Hazrat Muhammad (saw) is put on someone, that person is left with the imprint of the Prophet (saw). This meaning then proves rather than disproves the belief that the door of Ummati Nabuwwat is still open. The unusual thing is however that some people accept this meaning of Seal of the Prophets, and say that a prophet can be born but won’t. This belief arises because they say that the Prophet that is needed is in the heavens and he will come. The people who accept this meaning of Seal of Prophets and not Seal on Prophets then state that the meaning of seal is that all Prophets who came before Hazrat Muhammad (saw) became Prophets as a result of the imprint or seal of the Holy Prophet. The question that comes to surface then is that if the seal was being used before the Holy Prophet, then why can’t it be used afterwards? Is there now a fault in the seal or is it broken?
True meaning of the verse
The verse says “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men wa laakin (but) he is the Seal of the Prophets” Before the phrase “wa laakin” which means “but”, Allah has stated that Muhammad is not the father of any men in the biological sense, but by being a Prophet of Allah, he is the spiritual father of many righteous believers. In chapter 21, verse 7 of the Holy Quran, the wives of the Holy Prophet is stated to be the “mothers of the believers”. If the wives of the Holy Prophet are mothers of the believers, then the Holy Prophet himself is the spiritual father of the believers. Being the spiritual father of the believers puts to silence the opponents of Islam who taunted the Holy Prophet about him not having a son.